Petrocelli’s Questionable Move Embarrasses Local GOP Leaders

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Broward GOP Chairman Rico Petrocelli’s attempt to place a non-BREC member on an important congressional district committee embarrassed local GOP leaders including the co-chair of the Republican National Committee. The move came at last weekend’s Republican Party Of Florida meetings in Orlando. Petrocelli, members of the new BREC board, State Committeeman Ryan Anderson and RNC co-Chair Sharon Day made up the Broward delegation. One of the major items on the agenda was elections to fill congressional district committees across Florida. Local party chairs and state committee persons can nominate individuals from their counties.

A printed list of Petrocelli’s nominations was circulated before the meeting began. However, once the proceedings began it was clear Petrocelli planned to abandon his list. First, he nominated Michael DeGruccio, the polarizing former secretary of the Broward GOP. State Committeeman Anderson nominated longtime committeeman Chad Lincoln to challenge DeGruccio. A vote by the RPOF leadership handed Lincoln a decisive victory over DeGruccio.

According to several insiders the real fun was about to begin. For the next opening, Petrocelli nominated an individual who was not even a member of the Broward GOP. In fact, this person no longer resides in Broward county. Petrocelli never disclosed this information. Only after the votes were taken did it become public knowledge. The nominee admitted to presenting BREC membership paperwork that very morning. The RPOF was forced to table the vote until the next quarterly meeting. Witnesses say Sharon Day was incensed that Petrocelli allowed Broward’s “dirty laundry” to be aired in front of the entire RPOF.

Why Petrocelli would pull such a questionable maneuver at his first RPOF meeting as Broward GOP chairman.? Some insiders speculate Petrocelli was attempting to curry favor with Florida Governor Rick Scott. The nominee in question has close ties to the Governor’s office. Petrocelli currently serves as chairman of the Broward County Housing Authority. Nominated by Charlie Crist in 2009, Petrocelli’s term ends this year. Petrocelli, a Crist loyalist, would need to be re-nominated by Governor Scott.

Others wonder if Petrocelli has come under the influence of DeGruccio. A longtime Broward Republican volunteer, DeGruccio did not seek re-election as party secretary after it became clear he had lost the support of many party activists. These activists were upset by DeGruccio’s actions during the November elections.

First, DeGruccio decided to ignore the Broward GOP endorsement of school board candidate Rochelle Solomon by issuing his our written endorsement of her opponent Abby Freedman. Ms. Freedman, a close political ally of Democrat Sheriff Candidate Scott Israel, used DeGruccio’s letter to convince voters that she had the support of the Broward GOP. Freedman ended up defeating Solomon and Israel beat Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.

Then, during early voting, pictures surfaced of DeGruccio hanging out at a polling place with a militant Democrat activist. The photograph of DeGruccio and Michael Rajner was featured on Buddy Nevins’ BrowardBeat.com. Ranjer was behind the August 2011 boycott of Congressman Allen West. Earlier this year, Rajner revealed personal information regarding a member of State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff’s family.

Despite the outrage from grassroots Republican activists, Petrocelli named DeGruccio his “Director of Party Development.” The duties of this newly-created position have not been made public. It is unclear if this is a paid position.

After returning late Saturday night from Orlando, Petrocelli took to Facebook to thank DeGruccio for his “knowledge and contacts.” While he did thank Sharon Day for her “help”, Petrocelli never mentioned his fellow BREC board members.

This is the latest misstep in Petrocelli’s one-month reign as Broward GOP chairman. RED BROWARD previously reported on Petrocelli’s controversial plan to hold as few as six BREC meetings in 2013.

Maybe “the Chairmen” were on to something?

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Broward Obama Supporter Nearly Arrested For Violating Campaign Laws in Coral Springs


Chaos continues at the Coral Springs Early Voting location. Broward School Board candidate Abby Freedman (D-Alone) continues to aggravate candidates, campaign workers, poll deputies and voters with her overly aggressive campaign techniques. Freedman repeatedly tells Republicans she has the GOP endorsement. She knows this is not the truth. The Broward Republican Party joined local democrats such as Lori Parrish, the Police Benevolent Association and local firefighters by endorsing her opponent Rochelle “Shelly” Solomon. Freedman has been observed violating the non-partisan nature of her campaign by telling voters she is a Democrat. She must have learned this trick from fellow TEAM STACY RITTER member Dr. Mark “Fancy Pants” Gendal. Witnesses say Freedman has been making rude gestures and comments to local reporters as well.

On Monday, poll deputies grew tired of Freedman’s antics which were holding up the line. Freedman, standing at the edge of the 100ft “no campaign” boundary, berated voters with her canned appeal to root out “special interests” and bashed the Broward Teachers Union. Poll deputies were forced to put up cones, creating a “safe zone” between voters in line and Freedman.

On Wednesday, a local Obama supporter decided to repeatedly violate the “no campaign” zone. The Obama fan, parading around the Library grounds with an Obama sign, ignored warnings from poll deputies and security personnel. Elections officials were forced to call Coral Springs police who warned the unidentified woman that she faced arrest if she continued to break the law. The woman said “they’re trying to intimidate me”, but in the end she decided to follow the law.